Working Around Cranes

Working around cranes can be dangerous at all times.  This danger is not only when loads are moving.

  • If there is a pinch point for the crane, then the swing radius must be protected. 
  • The color of the demarking tape is always red. 
  • Only the operator can grant access into the cranes working area.
  • Since 34% of accidents happen during erection, always keep clear of the erection area.
  • Keep your eyes open for anything that does not look right.  If you see something that appears wrong, speak up and say something.
  • Never walk under a boom or hook, especially if it has a load on it.
  • Never work within the swing radius.

Important to remember

The crane operator is going to be watching the operator’s load or the signal person, not stray workers. Never enter the swing radius of a crane unless it is absolutely necessary and enter only by permission of the operator.

Incidents Percentage Year
Extending of the
tower crane – 29
34% 2010
Contact with
objects or
61% 2006
Accidents from
human error
95% 2006

Presenter Tips

  • Pre-read the Tool Box Talk. Your comfort level and confidence will be higher if you know your topic.
  • Discuss related tasks, work areas or events that make the Tool Box Talk relevant to your jobsite.
  • Involve the workers by asking questions and input that drives discussion. Funding and support for this project has been provided by the State of Washington, Department of Labor & Industries.

Questions for discussion:

  • What are some reasons that a crane might go over in our work environment, or on this job-site?
  • Who is the only person who can grant access into the crane working area?